Abstract

Abstract:

Penitentialist, consolationist, and existentialist interpretations of Job read the concluding words of Job 42:2–6 as spoken by Job and then struggle to explain how these words form a coherent conclusion to the book. In this article, the narrative frame in 42:1, 7 is applied to its immediate context and understands Job as speaking the words in verses 2–4 but YHWH as uttering the statements in verses 5–6. Job's prosecutorial declaration in verse 4 that he will ask the questions and that YHWH will answer him signals the shift of speakers and allows Job to have his day in court. YHWH's announcement in verse 6a of the withdrawal of his case against Job marks an end to the legal proceedings, and his profound expression of repentance in dust and ashes in verse 6b provides redress for his unjust treatment of Job, which requires vindicating Job (42:7–9) and making restitution (42:10–17). This new perspective allows these final words in 42:2–6 to provide a coherent conclusion to the major issues in the book.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-3876
Print ISSN
0021-9231
Pages
pp. 299-318
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-26
Open Access
No
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